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kid sister to read then don't post it. No flame wars, no abusive conduct, no programming
questions and please don't post ads.
I guess you could be right. The recruiter called me for a phone interview. From the interview, it was obvious that she did not know anything about the job I was applying nor technical enough to interview me. Looked like she just asked me questions written by somebody else and then recorded my answers for somebody else to evaluate. She said that she would discuss my case with the hiring manager and she would be in touch within a week. Immediately after that, she sent me an evaluation on her performance. Of course, I rated perfect in all categories. After I submitted the evaluation form, she sent me a request to take the test. Did not seem to be very professional asking the candidate to take the test after the candidate submitted the evaluation form. If I could evaluate her again, I would have rated the opposite. I asked somebody working for the company what that is all above. He said that it was just bureaucracy and asked me not to take it personally. Looks like there is no choice. Either waste 3 hours to take the test or just give up that application.
I recently took one as part of the sift process for a position with the UK Government.
Having never done one before, I prepared by doing a few of their on-line examples, and - to be honest - quite enjoyed doing them.
The test however had two tasks (but you were given plenty of time - 12 hours in my case) and they said they were looking for correctness, rather than speed of execution. The only really annoying aspect that didn't reflect real life is that when you finally submitted the code, it was tested and the result saved, but you weren't allowed to use their tests whilst writing the code, or see the results (or the tests used) once you had submitted the final version. This is fair enough I suppose, though unrealistic.
The two tasks were also things that you would almost never need to do in real life either: one was some really quite fiddly calculations with dates and days of the week, stuff which I haven't had to do since I extended the Borland C++ Date class to cope with UK and European dates and arithmetic thereon, despite a 40 year career in business software development!
Much to my surprise (I scored 100% in the first task, and 62% in the date related one: I missed one special case where the first of February in a non-leap year was a Monday - don't ask!), I passed the sift and have been asked for a second interview.
Here I will be expected to take part in a pair programming exercise (something else I've never done as such) - except that was over 6 weeks ago, and no appointment has been made, despite assurances that it will be from the firm undertaking the sift.
These tests are as unrealistic as the 'whiteboard' programming scenarios, but probably a reasonable way of filtering applicants from a large field. The fact that they still haven't come up with an appointment (they were looking for 39 people) makes me think that they haven't yet found that many, and probably that once they find 39 better than me, my interview will magically be cancelled!
One positive thing to come out of it though - it did demonstrate a way in which I could incorporate tests into a project I'm currently working on, which has proved very useful...
I had a bad experience with Codility, and I heard most candidates for this position performed worse than me. Two issues:
* The deadline was too short for completing all the excercises.
* The excercises felt like a mid term or final exam from an undergraduate degree subject, too abstract and low level.
So, grab your school books...
The purpose of the programming interview is to find programmers you can work with successfully. The purpose of HR is to get the programmers skills at the lowest possible cost. These objectives are orthogonal and sadly have resulted in the modern version of the white board coding interview, the programmers test.
In my experience good programmers are ones that love programming and solving problems. If they are not working for you they are most likely working on a side project, reading or writing code or something else programming related. With them programming is not a job its something they are. These types of people hate programmer tests. Why?
Because they understand that the test has little or nothing to do with solving their current problem which is, "how do I get a job, preferably one I will like, where I get to do what I love doing."
The best way I have found to hire talented programmers is to sit down and just talk with them about programming. Good programmers will quickly warm to the subject and before you know it you will be talking about solving problems, new constructs, theory, developmental approaches and so on. You might even learn something new! Good programmers love to program and to talk about programming. They just don't like to waste time solving solved problems to which the solutions could be found in seconds with a simple Google search. You will learn more from a simple 10 minute conversation than days and days of these tests.
The argument always comes up in these discussions that we, "Need to filter out" those candidates that don't have the skills. Really? Are you telling me you can't tell within five minutes if the candidate does not have the skills? Is your time so valuable that you can't spare a couple of minutes on the phone to determine this? if so then maybe you should be focusing on that important work that you need to do and leave the hiring to someone else.
Nice assessment. When conducting interviews, I used to spend 10-15 minutes talking to the candidate, then ask them to go to the white board and write a simple function [e.g., reverse a string]. Found a number of great candidates that way. One may love programming but if one cannot converse/discuss a [small] problem then one is likely to fail in a group setting.
Are you telling me you can't tell within five minutes if the candidate does not have the skills?
That's the problem...
we would, but most big companies where the departments are so specialized... the HR has no fvcking clue about technology beyond SmartPhone, Office and maybe a couple of things more. If you are lucky, the HR will be an advanced user, but still no programmer.
If something has a solution... Why do we have to worry about?. If it has no solution... For what reason do we have to worry about?
Help me to understand what I'm saying, and I'll explain it better to you
Rating helpful answers is nice, but saying thanks can be even nicer.
I've done many online coding assessments, mainly with multiple choice answers, and while they are a pretty poor way of assessing a job candidate vs. an original coding exercise, employers and HR love them, and passing them well has got me a few jobs in my +- 15 years .NET experience.
Even now, I've had one brief interview with an HR lady, she is busy vetting my CV, references, and criminal record check, but she told me as soon as that is done, I will do an online assessment, and if I do well, a one year contract is mine. No further interviews or any of the recruitment process crap.
"'Do what thou wilt...' is to bid Stars to shine, Vines to bear grapes, Water to seek its level; man is the only being in Nature that has striven to set himself at odds with himself."
Yeah, I did one a few years ago. It totally sucked and was a waste of my time. I was presented with three problems and scored zero because my style is to do things right. I started into two of the three and ran out of time because I have the awful habit of thinking too much (the third problem was never going to fit into the [short] time allotted). Anyway, I write beautiful code and that company missed a good opportunity.
You're right - you have to write the code the way they want it written.
Codility and other online coding testing sites are proof that they're lazy and don't know how to hire engineers. I've seen many gross mistakes in problems and fail to see what value it really provides outside of stealing money from HR.
Seriously though - I just find a topic or two on their resume and drill down into it. I ask to provide a diagram of the system, go into design issues, problems they ran into, how they were resolved, etc. It's more effective and much harder to fake.
"Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music."
It is such a nuisance to have to stop playing your VVG (violent video game), and actually go outside the house to commit a felony ! Fortunately, you can get free board and care just by using Emojis properly: [^]
«While I complain of being able to see only a shadow of the past, I may be insensitive to reality as it is now, since I'm not at a stage of development where I'm capable of seeing it.» Claude Levi-Strauss (Tristes Tropiques, 1955)
For my use, it has the edge on both Teams & SfB.
It has teams (aka Channels) which SfB doesn't.
It has pop-out windows which Teams doesn't (though they're working on adding it to Teams).
It has video & audio calls.
It has adding contacts outside your organisation.
It has conferencing & desktop sharing.
and all the normal messaging stuff.
The only thing I use in SfB that Slack doesn't have is the voice calling to landlines.
Give it a try...